Hannah Van Ert, M5G



MSTP Learning Community:  McCowen

MSTP Entry Date:  June 11, 2018

PhD Program:



Wendy Maury, PhD

Graduate Profile Lab Website

Investigating Ebola virus tropism and entry within placental tissues

The Maury lab is interested in RNA viruses broadly, specifically in mechanisms of entry these viruses utilize. One such mechanism is through the use of phosphatidylserine (PS) receptors on cell surfaces. These PS receptors bind to the phospholipid PS on enveloped virions and allow the virus to gain entry into endosomes where virion-cell fusion occurs and viral genomic information is deposited in cells for reproduction. Much of the work done in our lab has evaluated the role of PS receptors in the pathogenesis of emerging RNA viruses such as Ebola virus (EBOV), SARS-CoV-2, and Zika Virus. My work specifically is evaluating the tropism of EBOV for tissues within the placenta to investigate transplacental transmission of the virus from mother to fetus. Additionally, my work identifies specific PS receptors – and their required location in placental tissues -- which influence transplacental transmission of this virus. As an MSTP student with a clinical interest in obstetrics and gynecology, coupled with the paucity of data surrounding EBOV infection in pregnancy and the maternal immune response, I am interested in integrating the lab’s past work with investigating EBOV in the setting of the placental immune response.

I joined the lab amidst the COVID-19 pandemic when our work was predominantly focused on SARS-CoV-2 research, and have had the privilege of being involved in some of those projects. In our first project I evaluated the role of PS receptors in the TIM and TAM families in the process of virion entry of SARS-CoV-2. The other project was a collaborative effort between DeGowin Blood Bank, Haim lab, and us wherein we characterized the antibodies formed in convalescent plasma from donors during the early COVID-19 pandemic at our institution.


2018-2020 - McCowen Leadership

2018-2020 - Medical Students for Choice, Secretary

2019-2020 - Emma Goldman Clinic Committee for Services of Health Outreach and Education

2019-2020 - Student Physician for Human Rights: Executive Board Member

2019-2020 - Leopold Society Executive Board Member

2020-2022 - Medical Students for Choice, Co-President

2020-2021 - MSTP Women's Group (Chair)

2021 - MSTP Mondays Committee

2021 - MSTP Podcast Crew


2019 - Lauretta Bender Research Award In Psychiatry - Medical Student Research Day, Sept 20

2021 - Pulvermacher Graduate Student Teaching Award, Department of Microbiology and Immunology University of Iowa

2022 - Carver College of Medicine Trainee Scholar Award

Individual Funding Awards:

11/15/2022 - 08/30/2026
F30 AI 174686 - (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
Determining Tropism and Mechanisms of Ebola Virus Entry in Placental Tissues


2019 Fall - M1 Anatomy Tutor

2021 SUMR - Case-Based Learning (CBL) co-leader for group of SUMR students during two sessions

2021 SUMR - Facilitated two sessions of Clinical Skills Session (patient-provider encounters) to SUMR students


2015 - BS, Nursing - University of Wisconsin


ORCiD:  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3259-1912

Bohan D, Van Ert H, Ruggio N, Rogers KJ, Badreddine M, Aguilar Briseño JA, Elliff JM, Rojas Chavez RA, Gao B, Stokowy T, Christakou E, Kursula P, Micklem D, Gausdal G, Haim H, Minna J, Lorens JB, Maury W. Phosphatidylserine receptors enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Nov;17(11):e1009743. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009743. eCollection 2021 Nov. PubMed PMID: 34797899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8641883.

Van Ert HA, Bohan DW, Rogers K, Fili M, Rojas Chávez RA, Qing E, Han C, Dempewolf S, Hu G, Schwery N, Sevcik K, Ruggio N, Boyt D, Pentella MA, Gallagher T, Jackson JB, Merrill AE, Knudson CM, Brown GD, Maury W, Haim H. Limited Variation between SARS-CoV-2-Infected Individuals in Domain Specificity and Relative Potency of the Antibody Response against the Spike Glycoprotein. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Jan 26:e0267621. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02676-21. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35080430.